Site Allocations Plan March 2016

Document Section Site Allocations Plan March 2016 Schedule 1: Proposed large sites for residential development over 10 dwellings (Sites marked with a * are mixed use sites). Weston-super-Mare South of Herluin Way, Avoncrest Site* [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 14829985//2
Respondent Deleted User [View all comments by this respondent]
Agent Deleted User
Response Date 28 Apr 2016

The site described as ‘South of Herluin Way, Avoncrest Site’ in Schedule 1 of the Site Allocations Plan Consultation Draft (March 2016) is identified for mixed use development, including a residential capacity of 750 dwellings and 2.5 hectares of employment land. The site is now commonly known as the Weston Links site and we would request that it is referred to as this in any future versions of the Site Allocations Plan. 

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) are now working in partnership with North Somerset Council (NSC), as freeholders of the Weston Links site, to revisit the mix of land uses previously proposed with the aim of submitting an outline planning application during 2017, followed by the marketing and initiation of a phased delivery of a mixed use by 2019-2020, subject to remediation.

Between 2014 and 2016, NSC and Avoncrest, the former development partner, had been working together to refresh the development framework to facilitate residential-led development. As part of this process, a Concept Masterplan was produced to indicate the capacity and land use mix for the site. The Concept Masterplan was informed by engagement with prospective developers and end users and pre application engagement with NSC as the local planning authority.

In order to mitigate the higher remediation costs associated with the former landfill site it was agreed in principle to consider a land swap scenario whereby the existing playing fields adjacent to Hutton Moor Leisure Centre would be relocated onto the Weston Links site. This relocation would then unlock the Hutton Moor site for redevelopment. Whilst remediation would still be required on the Weston Links site, under this scenario the costs of such a process could potentially be reduced given the proposed switch in use of the land from residential to open space. Transferring some of the proposed residential allocation from the Weston Links site to Hutton Moor has the potential to reduce the abnormal costs and speed up the delivery of the overall development.

By delivering approximately 750 homes, the two sites will make an important contribution towards housing provision within Weston-super-Mare. The HCA propose that both Weston Links and Hutton Moor should be allocated in combination for residential and mixed use, with a target of 50% of the dwellings being Starter Homes subject to viability. Starter Homes are to be offered to eligible purchasers under 40 years of age at a discount of 20% to open market value.

Progressing the dual-site option would create self-containment across the two sites by offering viable opportunities for employment, retail and leisure as well as the residential uses, supporting Policy CS28 of the Core Strategy. The potential for improved sports provision and other community facilities associated with the residential use would also support the wider regeneration of Weston’s ‘Gateway Area’ as defined in the Core Strategy.

The Weston Links site was awarded Housing Zone status alongside a number of other town centre sites in Weston-super-Mare by DCLG in January 2015. Housing Zone status offers prospective development partners a number of benefits to speed up and simplify the process of housing building on the former tip site.

It is the position of the HCA that Schedule 1 of the Site Allocations Plan should recognise the joint development proposals for Weston Links and Hutton Moor that have emerged from the proposals outlined to date. The HCA welcome the inclusion of the Weston Links site in the Site Allocations Plan and would support the extension of the proposed allocation to include Hutton Moor. A plan outlining the extent of both sites is appended to this representation.